Want CNET to notify you of price drops and the latest stories?

Final Fantasy XIII Japan launch announced

The next installment in the venerable franchise is coming to Japan this December for about $95. But so far no U.S. release date or price has been revealed.

Don Reisinger
Former CNET contributor Don Reisinger is a technology columnist who has covered everything from HDTVs to computers to Flowbee Haircut Systems. Besides his work with CNET, Don's work has been featured in a variety of other publications including PC World and a host of Ziff-Davis publications.
Don Reisinger
2 min read
Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII is on its way to Japan. Square Enix

Square Enix announced at a press event Tuesday in Japan that Final Fantasy XIII, the next installment in the venerable franchise

, will be coming to Japanese stores on December 17, according to the company's site and a Reuters report. It will be offered exclusively on the PlayStation 3 for about $95.

Final Fantasy XIII will also be used to help Sony sell consoles. At the event, Square Enix said its game will come bundled with the PlayStation 3 Slim in Japan. It wouldn't divulge any more details on when it will be made available or at what price it will be offered.

Final Fantasy XIII is one of the most highly anticipated games in the industry. Its story is set in the city of Cocoon. Another world called Pulse is the "wilderness" in the game. The main character, Lightning, is destined to destroy the world. His mission is to fight against that destiny and save the world while fighting off the enemy, called Fal'Cie. Unfortunately, Square Enix wouldn't reveal too much more information about the storyline.

Regardless, Final Fantasy XIII follows a long line of games in the series that has captivated players. At its Tuesday event, the company said the franchise has sold more than 85 million units worldwide since the first installment was released in 1987.

Square Enix didn't pinpoint a U.S. release date. The company said in previous releases, it took about a "half a year to a year" for it to bring the game to U.S. store shelves. It's still hoping to make it available in spring 2010. Unlike the Japanese version, which only be made available on the PS3, Final Fantasy XIII will be offered to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 owners. No price has been announced.

So it looks like more waiting for those living outside Japan. But if you can't take the wait, check out Square Enix's Final Fantasy page. It's really well done.

Check out Don's Facebook profile, Twitter stream, and FriendFeed.